With an urge to get on a plane and go somewhere and WSBK coming to Phillip Island the timing was perfect.
As a treat we purchased a VIP package.
VIP meant a seat in the VIP lounge above pit lane. Food, drinks, access to riders, viewing from pit lane roof and pit walks each day.
The Friday was a beautiful hot Phillip Island day, giving us Wellingtonians a slight Ducati red sun burn. Saturday and Sunday were literally 4 seasons in one day, a couple of times over. The VIP lounge was a great spot to keep dry, warm and hydrated.
We quickly realised riders had to walk between pit garage and changing room/de-brief porta-com after the first free practice.
Strategically placed (standing around like spare pricks at a wedding), we managed a quick selfie with the new world champion Bautista and his Aruba.IT teammate, Rinaldi. This was unexpected but a real highlight!
As it turned out, the current and past world champions, Bautista, Rea and Razgatlioglu all came into the VIP lounge for signings and selfies…awesome!
Troy Corser (previous world champ on a Duc) and Carl Cox (major motor sport sponsor) provided us with some reflections, predictions and laughs on day 2.
I can’t recall WSBK having a tire change mid race, but the changing conditions for race one required it and added to the excitement.
The track conditions for the final Superpole race of the season sat somewhere between wet and dry which meant a lot of predictions were being made at the bar.
Bautista at one point was back to 16th after a few laps, what a disappointment. What we didn’t realise was he was one of only two bikes that went out on slicks.
As the track dried Bautista on the Duc was unbelievable….16th to 1st!! Pole for the final race was a massive relief to himself and the fans after not getting near the podium on day one. Rae commented post-race “he (Bautista) had big balls to do that!”.
Needing to get out of Phillip Island as quickly as possible after the final race, we watched from the other side of the track. Bautista was holding off Rae for most of the race until the red flag stopped things with about 5 to go and Bautista took the win.
We gapped it as soon as the flag came out, beating the traffic and had an easy trip back to Melbourne.
To top off the weekend Ducati took the manufacturers title!
Can’t wait for next year!
📸 + 📝 by Karl and Sam Pryce